Stupidity Behind the Toothpick

Please do not think for a moment, dear readers, that I purposefully set out on a daily mission, to root out stupers (short for ruefully stupid persons). I do not turn over rocks hunting for them; I don’t expect to find them behind steering wheels (at least not on a regular basis) or operating cash registers in large discount chain stores. Invariably, they seem to find me. I may just be a stuper-magnet.

That brings me to the case of the rollicking toothpick. This common cleaning utensil for the teeth is generally of the plain, natural wood variety, typically purchased in bulk for a nominal sum. However, the toothpick I refer to is found outside the box and far away from its intended place of utilization: in privacy. This sharp, Lilliputian, spear-like item is often found jutting out of the mouth of a stuper, sometimes merely dangling, other times somersaulting, devising all kinds of ways to draw attention to itself and the hollow head behind it.

Why do stupers brandish toothpicks while pumping gas, shopping in the grocery store, strolling on the sidewalk and so on? Is it because:

  1. It’s a subtle symbol of masculine virility (now part of many Swiss army knives);
  2. It represents daring and adventure; a plucky spirit. Rumor has it that many a celebrity feels naked without that little piece of wood between his/her lips;
  3. In case of emergency teeth cleaning;
  4. They forgot to remove it once done with cleaning.

Any one of the foregoing can apply, depending on the stuper.

According to the Book of Useless Information by Noel Botham, a toothpick is the object most often choked on by Americans. More than 8,800 people injure themselves annually on the common toothpick. I can’t begin to imagine the dangers of giving a stuper a toothpick.

Please, if any stupers are out there, reading this, (and remember I am not referring to any of my 3.5 readers), think twice (or at least once) before orally exhibiting that little bayonet. Use it for cleaning, then please discard.

Think before and during toothpick use.


4 Responses to “Stupidity Behind the Toothpick”

  1. Julianne says:

    Public use of toothpicks baffles me. I saw a kid (maybe 4) on a playground with one in his mouth. Genius!

  2. Reilly says:

    This is a major pet peeve of mine! Thanks for the explanations. It’s very possible, the stupers forget it’s even there.

  3. Sarah says:

    Ugh! I hate to see the little pick sticking out of the mouth. These are the same people who “warsh their cars,” and “ain’t got none.” What they ain’t got is common sense.

  4. Agnes Mildew says:

    What an interesting observation. The oral toothpick displays are not that common in the UK to be honest. Our stupers snap gum incessantly, stretching it from their mouths, whizzing it around their index finger, chewing it back in and starting all over again. I like to see the gum get tangled in their hair when they are twirling it around. It amuses me, anyway…

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